The Walden community gathered in the village square, Saturday, to celebrate its latest veteran dedication: banners lining Main Street that display local veterans’ portraits and the branches in which they served.
Known as the Hometown Heroes project, the Walden VBA committee sought to honor every veteran in the village and began working on the banners in August of this year. While the village previously featured banners on Memorial Bridge, they lacked portraits and did not comprise all of Walden’s veterans.
“Today is a day of celebration and recognition for all our service members, current, retired and deceased. It’s not just the recognition of one’s service but of what one is willing to give up in the pursuit of freedom,” said Cheryl Baker, former board trustee and member of the VBA, who opened Saturday’s ceremony.
As of last Tuesday, the village features 30 new banners hung on Main Street and replacements for the previous banners, now including portraits. These banners fly proudly in the village as a permanent reminder of their respective veterans’ contributions to their country.
“Today marks a day that the Village of Walden is recognizing those who have served posthumously or have passed, and current members that are here today,” said John Ramos, mayor and veteran, who also spoke after Baker. “And I want to thank each and every one of you for stepping out today and sharing our moment,”
During the ceremony, speaker Sarah McDowell listed off the names of all the village’s veterans and their branches. These included:
Served in the U.S. Army
Thomas W. Bradley, Douglas Vandermark, Howard VanAmburgh, Ken Rose, Louis E. Oliva, William Kirnan, Eugene Jesse Jones, Lillian M. Hook, William Deakin, Louis Bruschi, Robert Berrian Sr., Austin Berrian, Joel H. Cook, Phil Schroeder, David E. Penney, Forrest V. Holbert, Michael John Carroll, Richard B. Mcnamee, Peter W. Hall, Brendan Mcnamee, John C. Ciardullo, Henry S. Price, Victor J. Micielli, Steven M. Nicoli, Bernard Jackson Jr., Bernard Jackson Sr., Clarence H. Osterhoudt Sr., Clarence Osterhoudt Jr., Angel William Santana, John F. Weigert, Ronald Schwandt, and John H. Manning.
Served in the U.S. Navy
Lawrence E. Vandermark, Douglas Stickles, Dorothy Stickles, Frank Clermont Seabees, Gerald Winston Churchill, Joseph Carmody, Harold A. Smith, Mark S. Merring, James E. Hall Jr., and Gregory A. Anderson Sr.
Served in the U.S. Marines
Mark Keith Wilkinson, Edward A. Melville, Eugene Garcia, Antonio Steven Garcia, William J. Linton, Bryan J. Ruger, John F. Mcnamee Jr., Gregory A. Anderson Sr., and Robert Montanaro.
Served in the U.S. Air Force
Enoch J. Lewis, Gerald T. Fitzgerald, Robert Berrian Jr., Robert J. Mitchell, Edward P. Sheehan, Robert Wynkoop, Walter Van Der Meulen, John Ramos, and Ronald Schwandt.
Served in U.S. Vets
Wilson E. Bunting